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Fast track OK’d for new school project

 


Tick, tick, tick … the clock is ticking on the Grand Coulee Dam School District’s plan to “fast track” its K-12 facility project.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson said last week that the district has received word from the state superintendent’s office that the new school project can move ahead immediately and that its schedule of going out for bid next January now is a reality.

Accordingly, the school board last Wednesday gave its architectural firm, Design West, the OK to prepare complete drawings for its K-12 educational wing as well as the new gymnasium.

The board also authorized Design West to do initial drawings on the rest of the overall facility plan.

The “fast track” OK means that the bid process can occur as planned in January, with construction to begin in spring 2013, and school starting there in the fall of 2014.

Carlson said the district is still on target for the demolition of Wright Elementary sometime this summer, with site preparation for that part of the facility completed this year.

The district’s “fast track” schedule was in doubt until Carlson met a week earlier with State Superintendent Randy Dorn, who, when checking with Legislature officials, was told that the intent was that the funds were to be made available to the district immediately.

The Legislature had voted $17 million this spring while in special session for the Grand Coulee Dam School District project. That, coupled with the $14 million already voted by the Legislature provides just over $31 million for the project.

That still leaves some $15 needed to complete the full facility estimate to finish the buildings and athletic fields.

The district has moved to provide some options in the bidding process. The architect’s estimate of the K-12 buildings, demolition of Wright, a covered walkway that was recently added, and site preparation will come to about $27 million.

The bid options would add the athletic complex as an add-on, and the remodeling of the present gym, if there’s enough money remaining to do it.

Meanwhile, the district is trying to access enough federal money to complete the project.

 

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